Joseph C. Rankin, who is engaged in the livery and automobile business and is the pioneer in this line of activity in Encampment, possesses the resolute spirit that enables him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes, and he is numbered among the alert and energetic business men of his city.
He was born in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, March 13, 1861, and is a son of the late John Rankin, who was a native of the Keystone state and a representative of one of its old families founded in America by Scotch-Irish ancestors. He was a successful farmer but at the time of the Civil war put aside all business and personal considerations, responding to the country's call for troops to aid in preserving the Union. After a short period of service at the front, however, he was honorably discharged on account of physical disability. He wedded Mary Ann Elgin, a native of Pennsylvania, who also belonged to one of the old families of that state of English descent. She, too, has passed away. In the family were five children.
Joseph C. Rankin, who was the fourth in order of birth, spent his early life upon the home farm and started out to provide for his support when a youth' of eighteen years. He had acquired a public school education and after leaving home he made his way direct to Wyoming, believing that the great and growing west had in store for him opportunities which, if improved, would give him a chance to make for himself a substantial position in business circles. He first settled at West Laramie, where he remained for a year, and in the spring of 1898 he came to Encampment, where he immediately established a livery business, being the first in that line in the city. He has since remained in active business and a substantial measure of success has rewarded his efforts. After conducting his livery barn for some years he extended the scope of his activities to include the automobile trade, thus keeping abreast with the trend of modern progress. He also owns considerable stock in mining properties in this section of the country.
In 1885, at Elderton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Rankin was united in marriage to Miss Belle Sturgeon, a native of the Keystone state, and they now have one son, Joseph Donald, who was born in Encampment on the 17th of March, 1901.
Politically Mr. Rankin is a republican and is the present mayor of Encampment, to which position he was elected in the spring of 1917. He had formerly been a member of the city council for nine years and had made a most excellent record in that office, ever exercising his official duties in support of well devised plans and measures for the benefit of the city, for the safeguarding of municipal interests and for the advancement of civic standards. He was therefore well qualified to assume the duties of mayor when chosen by popular suffrage to the position and he is now giving to the city a businesslike and progressive administration. Mr. Rankin belongs to Encampment Lodge, No. 19, F. & A. M., and is a worthy follower of the craft. He is also connected with the Modern Woodmen of America and his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, which guides him in all of life's relations. He is well known and ranks with the substantial residents of Encampment, where his business ability is recognized and where his genuine worth has made him one of the most respected and valued citizens.